Pet Crematory Scandal Unacceptable – and Most Certainly Avoidable

March 29, 2012
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For 10 years, veterinarians have been supporting the Pet Stop cremation service outside of New Orleans, Louisiana.  A veterinary clinic owned by Dr. Susan Strain and Dr. Mike Strain of New Orleans was the drop off point for clinics across the city.  From there, pets would be taken to the Pet Stop for “cremation.”

Apparently, not once during those ten years did a veterinarian, a family, or another pet care professional do their due diligence to see what kind of business the Pet Stop cremation service was operating.  Furthermore, Dr. Mike Strain, who also happens to be the State’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, wasn’t aware of these practices going on at Pet Stop either.
Oh, one more thing,… “cremains” were being returned to families.  Those are currently under analysis to see exactly what was being returned as the light tannish-brown flaky substance is most certainly not “cremains.”

So, a few weeks ago when suspicions started to brew, the owner of Pet Stop took deceased animals back to the clinics.  A local pet crematory began to get calls to fill in with the cremations.  And, an investigative reporter began to have a field day.

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As he should have.

And, I suspect there will be more stories like this popping up across the country.

The time has come for the pet loss professionals who are doing business in an ethical way to take a stand.  Unfortunately, in some areas, the pet death care industry lags behind our human death care partners in this area of legal and ethical business practices.  From those companies that are performing partitioned cremations and passing them off as private cremations to those that are still protesting an “open door” policy, the pet loss profession is quickly getting poised to get the proper education out to pet parents and veterinarians.

For pet parents, they deserve the benefit of proper paper work with explanations as to what is happening with their pet.  They deserve an open-door policy.  For veterinarians, pet parents are taking a stand in the area of medical treatments for their pets in life – and they are becoming much, much better educated on the topic of pet loss options, too.

For both pet parents and veterinarians, drop by the place that’s performing the cremation services.  Remember, if you schedule the “drop by,” it’s a visit.  If you truly “drop by,” it’s an inspection.  Inspect, inspect, and inspect.

Pet cemeteries, pet crematories, pet funeral homes, and pet loss operators, the time has come.  The investigative reporter just might be coming to a neighborhood near you,…..  soon.

Are you ready?

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